Trial Over Photographer Killed in San Francisco’s Twin Peaks Ends in Hung Jury

Ed French
Photographer Ed French

The murder trial of a photographer who was killed while at Twin Peaks in San Francisco has ended in a hung jury.

Edward French was killed during a robbery at the popular tourist spot in 2017. The 71-year-old photographer was also a film location scout and had been taking pictures shortly after sunrise when he was attacked.

Lamonte Mims and Fantasy Decuir stood accused of shooting French while also robbing him of his camera and wallet. Decuir was accused of pulling the trigger.

On May 22, a jury in San Francisco voted 10-2 in favor of convicting the accused (both age 25) of murdering French, but the verdict had to be unanimous for a conviction.

Mims was convicted on other charges, including second-degree robbery but Decuir has escaped a murder judgment.

According to the Bay Area Reporter, there is video evidence of Decuir shooting French after Mims had taken his camera.


French’s sister, Lorrie French, and French’s partner Brian Higginbotham have decried the verdict telling the Bay Area Reporter they are in “disbelief.”

“Let’s not forget they killed him in July, [police] caught them in August, and in two months it’ll be six long years we’ve been waiting,” says Higginbotham.

“There’s video, there’s audio and there’s a compelling witness statement. … We’re all very upset, there’s a lot of people following this case.”

According to the bereaved pair, the defense brought in a medical expert who testified that Decuir’s sickle-cell disease caused her to think that she was in a dream and hadn’t realized she killed someone.

“It was laughable,” French’s sister says. “She certainly wasn’t unconscious, as the doctor alluded to.”

Decuir’s attorney Mark Iverson tells the Bay Area Reporter that the legal defense of unconsciousness was based on the extreme pain she was suffering from sickle-cell disease.

“Her ability to manage this medical crisis and her withdrawal from opiates was severely compromised by her intellectual disability,” Iverson adds.

Mims and Decuir remain in custody and the District Attorney’s Office plans to try them both again on the murder charge, a spokesperson tells the San Francisco Standard.

Photographers are a target for violent criminals in the Bay Area. Just last week, 72-year-old Jim Roach was robbed at gunpoint in the Oakland Hills.